January 20, 2011

Indoor rink to remain closed

Indoor rink to remain closed
By STU MERRY

The ice skates are hanging on the wall, ready for skaters. The ice is on the rink, ready to be used. And the phones have been ringing off the hook at Garrison’s indoor skating rink from people inquiring if and when the facility will be open. But there is no answer. There will be no ice skating in the indoor rink this year.
And the usability of the indoor rink in the future is in doubt unless some major renovations are made, or the building completely replaced.
Though the outdoor rink is usable the indoor rink has not been open this season for safety concerns. This past week, a building inspector, Chris Wentz of CW Structural out of Bismarck, was asked to examine the structural integrity of the building. The diagnosis was not good. If it was in a hospital, the building would be on life support. Not only is the main building itself deemed unsafe, the adjoining warming house, which is attached to the main structure, has been called unsafe as well.
Abundant snow this winter has put an added strain on the aging structure. And even if the snow was removed, the skeleton, or frame of the building, appears to be just too weak to hold up. And for that reason, city and park board officials have decided, under advisement of Wentz, it would be better to keep the building closed for safety’s sake.
Sandy Crawford, skating rink manager, said she is just sick about not having the indoor rink and warming house open. But, she added that her first concern is for the safety of the users. Because the facility is closed, Crawford is also out of a job.
“I’m depressed,” she said. “But I was concerned as I was seeing a lot more twisting going on inside the building.”
 


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